Gauge Description:


The gauge is very convenient for this run, being the Davis gauge just upstream of Blackwater Falls. Generally, the Upper Blackwater is run most between 250 cfs and 375 cfs. However, the Upper B is enjoyable even when its below 200. I like to see 300 cfs or higher before I'll drive out, but Zone Dogg has done it as low as 80 cfs, very scrapy. Between 150-250 cfs, the river is not pushy and is channelized enough that it is paddleable. This is a great level to see the run at for your first time, but its very pinny. As the water progresses over 300 cfs, there is more padding but also a lot of power. Nasty holes begin to develop and the distance between rapids shrinks. Once it goes above 400, most paddlers will want to head elsewhere, but this is a personal favorite level for Blackwater regulars and solid class 5 boaters. A good cutoff is at 500 cfs, but of course, there are guys that run it at higher levels than I do--and I wish them the best of luck.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03066000 450 - 550 cfs V+ 00h31m ~ 182 cfs (too low)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
250 - 325 cfs barely runnable-med runnable V+ gauge is important or has warning Zone Dogg swears 200 is a good level and its been done lower, but its manky creeking. above 275 is ideal. Low water also exposes several pin rocks and sieves
325 - 450 cfs med runnable-a bit pushy runnable V+ gauge is important or has warning Most prefer flows in the 300 range to cover the chunky riverbed. 350 is an ideal medium. 400 is a fun, padded flow but it flows fast and the holes are grabby
450 - 550 cfs a bit pushy runnable-high runnable V+ gauge is important or has warning Experienced UB paddlers will run over 500cfs, negotiating a boulder slalom between big features with a few small eddies. These flows also make the lower B swee

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